A Georgia woman being transported by an ambulance for a non-emergency situation was killed in a fatal accident involving the ambulance she was being transported in. According to Georgia news reports, the accident occurred around midnight last Wednesday. Evidently, the ambulance was driving westbound on East Highway 34 when it traveled onto the shoulder of the road. After going off the road, the ambulance slammed into a ditch and proceeded to hit another embankment, which resulted in the ambulance becoming airborne. After becoming airborne, the ambulance crashed into a pole and rolled over.
Unfortunately, the patient being transported was killed in the accident. The two paramedics did not suffer any severe injuries, although they were hospitalized with minor injuries. Currently, the Georgia state police are investigating the accident to determine if anyone was at fault for the accident. Reports indicate that charges are pending.
Wrongful Death and Sovereign Immunity in Georgia
In most situations, if an individual wants to collect damages because of an injury they sustained, or if a family wants to bring a suit because of the wrongful death of a loved one, the individual or family may bring a personal injury or wrongful death suit. An exception applies when the person they are suing works for a government agency. Unfortunately, to bring a suit against government employees, there are many additional elements that must be considered because of the doctrine of “sovereign immunity.”
United States constitutional law as well as Georgia state law explains that an individual cannot sue an “agent or agency of the government without their consent.” This hurdle is particularly difficult in many car accident situations. Fortunately, Georgia also has a waiver of sovereign immunity provision.
This waiver provision makes it possible for individuals to collect damages in certain situations by getting around the state’s sovereign immunity. Although at first glance it seems as if government officials have discretion to act in whatever way they want without repercussions, that is not necessarily the case. There are certain rules of ethics, professional conduct, and municipal ordinances that they must abide by. When these rules are violated, they may be disciplined internally by the organization, including being forced to pay damages, suspension, or even termination.
Attempting to sue a government agency can be particularly complicated because of the theory of sovereign immunity, and it is important that you contact an attorney to discuss your case.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured Because of a Government Official?
If you or someone you know has been injured because of the actions of a government official, you may be able to bring a wrongful death or personal injury suit against the entity responsible. As is illustrated above, these cases are particularly challenging because of sovereign immunity. As such, it is important that you contact an attorney to assist you with your personal injury case. It is almost certain that the government will have an attorney representing its interests as well. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries that you sustained because of the accident. This compensation may cover your medical expenses and possibly even property damage. Contact an experienced Georgia attorney at Miller Legal Services today at 770-284-3727 to schedule your free initial consultation.
See Related Blog Posts
Man Killed in Georgia Biking Accident, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 25, 2015.
Officers Searching For Truck in Georgia Hit-and-Run, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, January 21, 2015.